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An optical fiber connector is a flexible device that connects fiber cables requiring a quick connection and disconnection. Optical fibers terminate fiber-optic connections to fiber equipment or join two fiber connections without splicing. Hundreds of optical fiber connector types are available, but the key differentiator is defined by the mechanical coupling techniques and dimensions. Optical fiber connectors ensure stable connections, as they ensure the fiber ends are optically smooth and the end-to-end positions are properly aligned.
An optical fiber connector is also known as a fiber optic connector.
Optical fiber connectors were introduced with fiber optic technology in the 1980s. Most fiber connectors are spring loaded.
The main components of an optical fiber connector are a ferrule, sub-assembly body, cable, stress relief boot and connector housing. The ferrule is mostly made of hardened material like stainless steel and tungsten carbide, and it ensures the alignment during connector mating. The connector body holds the ferrule and the coupling device serves the purpose of male-female configuration.
The fiber types for fiber optic connectors are categorized into simplex, duplex and multiple fiber connectors. A simplex connector has one fiber terminated in the connector, whereas duplex has two fibers terminated in the connector. Multiple fiber connectors can have two or more fibers terminated in the connector. Optical fiber connectors are dissimilar to other electronic connectors in that they do not have a jack and plug design. Instead they make use of the fiber mating sleeve for connection purposes.
Common optical fiber connectors include biconic, D4, ESCON, FC, FDDI, LC and SC.